This Sallie Mae vs. Wells Fargo student loan comparison will compare the total cost of borrowing, loan minimums and maximums, available repayment plans, underwriting guidelines, and borrower benefits.
At a Glance: Sallie Mae vs. Wells Fargo Student Loans
|Fixed APR||5.49% – 11.85%¹||5.49% – 10.93%|
|Variable APR||4.25% – 11.35%¹||4.80% – 10.72%|
|Loan Terms||5 – 15 years*||15 years|
|Loan Amounts||$1,000 up to 100% of school-certified cost of attendance¹||$1,000 – $120,000|
Interest Rates & Fees
Sallie Mae Rates
Sallie Mae offers private student loans to borrowers pursuing an education in a wide range of study areas with the option for either a fixed or variable interest rate loan. The fixed interest rate loans from Sallie Mae range from 4.62% up to 11.47%1, depending on the creditworthiness of the applicant. Variable interest rates start as low as 5.74% and can be as high as 11.85%.1
Wells Fargo Rates
Wells Fargo also offers fixed and variable interest rates on private student loans. Fixed interest rates can be as low as 5.49% or as high as 10.93%, and variable interest rates range from 4.80% to 10.72%. Borrowers with either private lender can select the type of interest rate they prefer.
Neither Sallie Mae nor Wells Fargo impose an additional fee for loan origination, completing an application, or prepayment should a loan balance be paid in full prior to the end of the original term.
Sallie Mae has a minimum student loan amount of $1,000 and a maximum not to exceed 100 percent of the school-certified cost of attendance.3 Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a private student loan for less than the full amount of the certified cost, based on the borrower’s application and need.
Wells Fargo has a minimum of $1,000 and the maximum loan amount cannot exceed the total cost of attendance for any borrower or a total of $120,000 in student loans (including federal loans).
In-School Repayment Options
Both Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo make a variety of repayment options available to borrowers.
Sallie Mae offers a deferred repayment plan option which does not require payment while a borrower is enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school or during a six-month grace period after leaving school.
The fixed repayment option allows borrowers to repay $25 while attending school and during the grace period, with principal and interest payments due upon graduation or leaving half-time status.1
Also, an interest repayment option gives borrowers the opportunity to pay accumulated interest during their time at school as well as the grace period with principal and interest payments due once the grace period ends.
Wells Fargo offers a deferred repayment plan in which student borrowers are not required to make monthly payments during their time at school and for a six-month grace period after leaving school.
However, Wells Fargo borrowers have the option to make payments anytime during their attendance without penalty.
Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo require that borrowers listed on a private student loan application be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Additionally, both lenders evaluate an applicant’s credit history and score, as well as other underwriting criteria which may include income, debt-to-income, and work history.
Should an applicant be unable to qualify for a student loan through Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo as an individual, both lenders allow a co-signer to be listed on a student loan application.
Common Autopay Benefit
Sallie Mae offer the added cost-saving benefit of a 0.25 interest rate reduction when borrowers elect to have repayment done through automatic checking or savings account deductions.2 Wells Fargo also offers this 0.25 percent reduction.
Sallie Mae Benefits
Sallie Mae also provides no-cost access to Chegg Tutors and Chegg Studies for new borrowers which are online, interactive tools that help students improve their studies.
Sallie Mae also allows students to request up to a 12-month period during which interest-only payments are required. This benefit is only available to students who have graduated from a degree-earning program.
Wells Fargo Benefits
Wells Fargo offers additional relationship discounts to private student loan borrowers, above and beyond the automatic payment interest rate reduction. Up to a 0.25 percent interest rate discount is applied with borrowers have a prior federal or private student loan with Wells Fargo.
Borrowers who have a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account may be eligible for an additional 0.25 percent interest rate reduction, and those with a Portfolio by Wells Fargo relationship may qualify for a 0.50 percent discount.
Wells Fargo also gives borrowers the opportunity to request a forbearance or financial hardship deferment once repayment begins.
Both Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo are great choices for students looking for help to pay for college. Currently, Sallie Mae offers better rates and terms, but which is better for you will depend on what you qualify for and your personal financial situation.
Sallie Mae Student Loan Disclosures
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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